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Atheist Tuesday: Sound and Fury from the SMRTies (Part 4 of 4)

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I have been prayerfully considering how I should write this post. I’ve thought about it, turning it over and over again in my mind, hoping to write something witty, provocative, poignant and ironic.

Not today.

The best way to go with this post on this Atheist Tuesday is to be real, sans flourish. So here goes.

The first three parts of this series, Sound and Fury, dealt with unbelievers’ comments in response to my YouTube videos. (Click here to start the series.) I selected the most extreme postings to show the extent of the hatred people have for the truth of the Gospel message.

The commenters on this blog have vociferously objected that I unfairly picked the worst of these posts to make atheists look bad, as if they were somehow above the fray of using obscenity, profanity, invective and crudeness to make their points.

They aren’t.

Though (mostly) polite and self-controlled on my site (they have to be or their comments get deleted) they are a lot different when they get together.

I have proof.

About a year ago, I was flooded with atheist commentators  after I posted articles about our “Origin of Species” book giveaway (you know, the publication written by Charles Darwin, but with a 50 page anti-evolution introduction written by Ray Comfort) at USC.

Question upon question upon question was posed to me from  pro-evolution atheists and unbelievers visiting my blog. I was overwhelmed. I could never answer to their satisfaction. Every explanation I gave was never good enough and was met with a thousand more questions. I wondered just who these atheists were and might they be organized? With every new post came more questions, more rebuttals and more snide comments.

Where were these people coming from? What organization did they belong to?

Then one of them, a (lady?) named WeeMaryAnne made a comment that went something like this: “It’s good to see fellow SMRTies on this blog.”

SMRTies? Was that the organization? I Googled SMRTies and found nothing.

A few weeks later I was at Ray Comfort’s blog, Atheist Central, and an atheist was thanking Ray. He was appreciative because WeAreSmrt.com was celebrating their one year anniversary! (Warning! Extreme anti-Christian content and language there.)

Bingo!

SMRT stands for Skeptical Minds, Rational Thought. Apparently, the Forum part of the site was originally put up to ridicule Comfort’s ministry and blog. They would post all the nasty comments Ray would delete. Then they would continue to mock him and other Christian ministries, especially Creationist sites.

In the Forum section there is a long list of Believers’ blogs and sites, listed for the sole intention of discrediting and mocking them.

Stone The Preacher is there, too, in a sub-section called “Care and Feeding of Recalcitrant, Incorrigible Fundies.” In fact, I have the dubious distinction of being the second most commented-on site after Ray Comfort’s ministries (if I have calculated correctly).

Who also is there? The unbelievers who comment here. And are they nice? Judge for yourself. The person who started my blog’s forum is Nohm. Here’s what he wrote about me:

Nohm:

You can check him out here [My website’s link].

His tagline is: “Evangelism with an edge… and a sense of humor.”

I interpret that as “I’m a expletive and just as funny as any other fundie (i.e., not at all).”

I thought about printing some of their other comments about me, but chose otherwise. Trust me; they are indeed just as crass and vulgar and profane as any of the other YouTube commenters.

I post this so that you will know who you may be dealing with in the atheist community. At times, some appear friendly, but watch out.

Jesus said this in Luke 6:45—“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

36 Comments

  1. No, we also aren’t representative of atheists everywhere. Flattering that you consider us as such, however.

  2. yeah – what Garrett says. 🙂

    “I selected the most extreme postings to show the extent of the hatred people have for the truth of the Gospel message.”

    Again, you have yet to show that the reason for nasty comments have anything to do the with Gospel message – let alone its truth value. Put it another way, does the nasty e-mail Richard Dawkins get attest to the truth of evolution? No – it attests to the mind of those who actually wrote the nasty comments – not the writers’ brothers or sisters in Christ – the writers.

    Steve, I don’t lump you with every other theist out there. I don’t even lump you with every other evangelical. The issues I’ve commented on here had to do with things you either said or endorsed.

    But what I get in return is to be grouped and demonized. Why do you think this is necessary?

    • I was very careful in my wording of this post to not lump all atheists in together as profane and crude. You, perdita, are not one of the obscene ones, fortunately. I chose not to list the comments of some of the frequent commenters, because they know who they are. The bottom line is Jesus’ quote, which I have seen to be completely true.

      Thanks for keeping it clean and civil; some of the others may learn from you.

      As for those hate emails from Dawkins? 3 reasons.

      1. Those people are not Christians.

      2. They are new Christians who have not learned self-control or propriety.

      3. They are nominal Christians, raised in a Christian home, but no sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

  3. Again, Steve, our point was that not all atheists are as you say. Not that we aren’t like that. Quite frankly, I think what we say on a private forum is different than direct comments to your videos, but whatever. We find you and others from Living Waters to be dishonest, sneaky jerks and we’ll treat you as such. We have other Christians such as Cityonahill that we treat politely with respect.

    We even treated Dan, a very vocal opponent of ours, with concern when his email was hacked. And yet he threw that in our faces and acted like a brat. But I guess he’s not a Christian.

    Let’s get back to the point: you were ultimately wrong. All atheists are not like that. You just moved the goalposts to defame us. And that’s a good reason why we’re mean to you: because you do the same right to us. It’s perhaps worse because you’re so passive-aggressive about it.

    • I’m not mean to you. I like you Garrett… and Nohm. I don’t write mean things or say mean things about you, public or private. I do, however, pray for you both. Really I do. That may not mean much to you, but that’s the only way that you can ever be convinced of anything I say or write. God will have to open your heart to receive these truths. Oh, I know, I sound like a namby-pamby weak ole Christian. But really, I do care about you and hope that one day you will turn from your anger and bitterness and turn to God.

      I, too, was angry. I, too, had reasons to lash out. I, too, needed to forgive many, but first received forgiveness through Jesus. Then and only then was I able to rid myself of all anger, rage, malice and slander; and only then was I able to forgive as well.

      Please, my friend. Consider these things.

      Thanks for reading this.

  4. They can also be immature Christians that have been around for awhile, but otherwise, exactly my point. Those sorts of comments reflect the writers and not the truth value of what they’re complaining about. I may be reading this wrong, but you seem to think that because some atheists have been crude towards you, that somehow validates your claims.

    “I was very careful in my wording of this post to not lump all atheists in together as profane and crude.”

    I just re-read, and I still don’t see any distincitons:

    “Trust me; they are indeed just as crass and vulgar and profane as any of the other YouTube commenters.”
    “Who also is there? The unbelievers who comment here. And are they nice? Judge for yourself.”


    “SMRT stands for Skeptical Minds, Rational Thought. Apparently, the Forum part of the site was originally put up to ridicule Comfort’s ministry and blog. They would post all the nasty comments Ray would delete. Then they would continue to mock him and other Christian ministries, especially Creationist sites.”

    I wasn’t one of the founders, but I remember when they started the site. And while there is mocking (including the self-directed kind – hence the name), that wasn’t the primary objective. Most of the atheists who post at Atheist Central realize that Ray is using them, as one would use a heckler, to gather a larger crowd. He’s not subtle and does things just to get a reaction.

    It was kind of like the Wild West at his site – Ray would check the atheists, but give the Christian commenters free rein, including allowing a Christian poster to impersonate one of the atheists that posted there. The Christian poster not only co-opted the man’s posting name, but co-opted his picture as well.

    I think SMRT was born more out of frustration than anything else.

    • “Trust me; they are indeed just as crass and vulgar and profane as any of the other YouTube commenters.”
      “Who also is there? The unbelievers who comment here. And are they nice? Judge for yourself.”

      This is in reference to the crude and vulgar people at the site itself. Only writing to those for whom the shoe fits. Just reporting what I have experienced. As you can see, I didn’t use any irony or humor when reporting these impressions. Just the facts as I saw them.

      Not sure about the origins of the SMRT site, but I’m sure someone will come along and straighten me out.

      Thanks, perdita!

      • Not sure about the origins of the SMRT site, but I’m sure someone will come along and straighten me out.

        I didn’t comment on this last year, but I must say I still find it funny that I tell you about the origins of SMRT and your response is as if I didn’t.

        For the record – not all of the comments Ray deleted were nasty. Blog censorship is one reason many people cross-post their comments. Of course, everyone has a right to censor their own blogs as they see fit, but this way we can read the offending comment and determine for ourselves if it was out of line or valid.

  5. Steve, you realize that not swearing and insulting people directly isn’t the only things required to be nice, right?

    We have a wiki now dedicated solely to lies told by Ray. That’s how bad that man’s deception has gotten. That’s why we speak poorly of him.

    You seem to have a weird, childish perspective on things. No, you don’t look like a weak, whatever Christian. You look like a man with an agenda desperately trying to use whatever deception possible to fulfill it. Even if it means sucking up to me after calling us rude and angry for several weeks.

  6. Check the date on that first posting that you quoted in the article. That was a long time ago.

    I’m surprised you didn’t give me grief about my lame joke, but… have a sense of humor and all that, I guess.

    I am curious why you’ve never joined that thread, though.

    Lastly, I’m not angry or bitter. I find fundamentalists, and especially anti-evolutionists, to be both fascinating and frustrating… but the “fascinating” part usually wins out.

    But as perdita says, it’s far more “frustration” than “anger” or “bitterness”.

    Now, the reasons for such frustration are wide and varied, but mine are usually two things:

    1. Bizarre and failed attempts at mind-reading (such as claiming that we have hatred for the Gospel message)
    2. Making a claim when it’s clear that the person has done little to no research on the subject (such as anything you’ve written about evolution)

    I would also argue that most people at SMRT are neither angry nor bitter… just coarse in their comments. You are more than welcome to come to your thread any time and express yourself.

  7. Steve,

    Have you read through your thread over there?

    What are your opinions about what people wrote about you?

    (Especially regarding what I wrote about you.)

  8. “This is in reference to the crude and vulgar people at the site itself. Only writing to those for whom the shoe fits. Just reporting what I have experienced.”

    That distinction is not in your article. And that distinction is irrelevant. You believe all atheists are the devil’s disciples. Does it really matter that some are cruder than others?

    I’m sorry you were hurt by some of the things people said about you. And I mean that. However, I also realize that you aren’t sorry for the things you say about us. You tell your readers that our questions and arguments should be ignored because we are evil. And you see nothing wrong with that.

    This is what it looks like to me. You can’t answer our questions. You can’t counter our arguments. And so, you lash out at us. You demonize us. And you justify demonizing us with your interpretation of scripture. Lol

  9. I wonder if the SMRT members are skeptical about being skeptical.

    Thanks for the note, Steve, but I do agree that you didn’t make much distinction, that is, it did seem like you lumped all atheists together.

    Interestingly enough though, from an atheistic, evolutionary perspective, that shouldn’t really matter. There is nothing inherently immoral in your action (based on atheism).

    In fact, maybe it is a wonderful survival tactic! Or not! Either way, they need to just trust evolutionary processes to sort it out. If the only life they have is this one, why waste it on someone like you who is really just wasting your life (from that worldview)?

  10. Ugh. Forum drama. Can both parties just agree that amongst all camps of people whether they be Christian, Atheist, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Agnostic, etc. there are people who use the anonymous nature of Internet forums or commentary posts to post their unfiltered or angry thoughts on a subject. Yes Steve your posts get flamed, just like atheist videos on youTube get flamed by religious folks (Not just Christians but Christians, or rather immature ones, are involved).

    Anger, insults, and profanity are simply ways people express themselves, and quite frankly I’m glad for it. The Internet gives us the freedom of expression, to post our thoughts for others to see and to debate in whatever style we choose. For the sake of civility we reign in our language so as not to offend or upset, but these rules are arbitrary and at times unnecessary, because people engaged in intelligent CONVERSATION typically know not to swear or profane a person they’re trying to debate. People who post anonymously on forums, or rant at a person are typically not bound by these rules, so they post their unfiltered, uncensored comments as a way of venting their frustrations.

    For the people that stick around long enough to have intelligent debate or conversations with you Steve, I highly doubt they’d resort to flaming you. On the other hand I do believe that you end up deleting a lot of flame posts on this commentary from people who see the sight once, read something, and then post a nasty comment on it then split. If that’s the case, then its no different then any other trafficked forum on the internet.

    Basically just move on, profanity and angry posts isn’t an atheist trait, and ‘dirty language’ isn’t a sin, only blasphemy is. Profanity is simply a series of words society has deemed inappropriate to use in polite conversation and that changes every generation or so just like all vocabulary. You don’t hear people saying, 23 skiddoo, Radical, Groovy, Far out, or dream boat very often anymore for the same reason. There are better topics to discuss, and while I do look forward to Tuesday its not the sole reason I come to this site, I’d like to hear you discuss more about the ‘morality’ of the God of the Old Testament. Or why you believe homosexuality is a sin when it occurs in nature. Or why you hold the 10 commandment laws above all the other laws in the Bible?

  11. Michael, we’ve gone over this countless times: morality is a evolutionary trait that has aided social species. Caring for each other strengthens the group. Falling apart into selfishness will leave the group fractured and vulnerable.

    You are talking about two things (evolution and atheism) that you have done no research on. You have even blatantly disregarded the numerous posts on this very blog explaining where atheists derive their morals. Spoiler: we all don’t share the same morals.

    This is exactly what I am talking about, Steve: disrespecting us and ignoring us so they can try to score some points. I think I’ve explained my own morality three or four times now on this blog, yet I know the very people who ask me the question will ask it again later.

    Once more: clean language is not the only requirement to be considered civil. You guys excel at backhanded remarks.

  12. Michael Coughlin wrote:

    I wonder if the SMRT members are skeptical about being skeptical.

    Please explain what you mean by this.

    Interestingly enough though, from an atheistic, evolutionary perspective, that shouldn’t matter.

    Michael, there is no such thing as “an atheistic perspective”. All the word “atheist” means is that I’m not a theist. Nothing more. It says absolutely nothing about my opinions or morals except that I just lack belief in one more god than you do.

    I have absolutely no idea what you think an “evolutionary perspective” is. Would you please explain?

    There is nothing inherently immoral in your action (based on atheism).

    Well, you’re accidentally correct. Since “based on atheism” is an inherently meaningless statement (much like “based on non-stamp-collecting” would be), it says nothing about morals and such. But, as a secular humanist, I have a set of morals. In that set, what he did was immoral, because it points to the main issue that I’ve always got on Steve’s case about:

    He makes claims about what other people think that are wrong. In short, he tries to mind-read.

    To me, that’s immoral. Atheism doesn’t tell me that (because “atheism” tells me nothing, beyond what my opinion about any god’s existence is). My own set of morals tells me that. If I did the same thing, I would be acting immorally (and dishonorably).

    Either way, they need to just trust evolutionary processes to sort it out.

    No idea what you mean by this, Michael. Is it possible that you don’t understand what “evolutionary processes” actually are? What is your background in this subject?

    If the only life they have is this one,

    You and I can agree that this is my point of view.

    why waste it

    Who says I’m wasting it?

    on someone like you

    As I have mentioned multiple times before, I find people like Steve (and yourself) to be fascinating. Therefore, I’m not wasting my time talking with you.

    who is really just wasting your life (from that worldview)?

    1. You really should drop this idea that atheism is a worldview, because all it will do is lead to confusion for you. There is no such thing as an “atheist worldview”.

    2, Regardless of whether or not I think Steve is wasting his life (and, seriously, that’s not for me to judge… it’s his life, not mine), that in no way diminishes my fascination of people like you or he.

    Michael, if you can, I would appreciate some answers to the questions I asked in this comment.

  13. Some of the Christians who visit here come about once a week, so they aren’t terribly concerned with answering the atheists, Nohm. It’s not like they can’t, because, after all, we have the truth.

  14. “Some of the Christians who visit here come about once a week, so they aren’t terribly concerned with answering the atheists…”

    Drive-by accusations aren’t good manners.

  15. Seeing as how they run away from discussions, I’d say they’ve learned quite a bit from you.

  16. “Not many run away; it’s just that we get tired of having to say the same thing over and over again about God. Also, Christians have to remember this.”

    Actually, there does seem to be a glaring difference in the intellctual inquisitiveness between the atheists and resident Christians. Atheists here put forward reasoned arguments, and respond to points raised. The Christians often make hubristic arguments from assertion, then vanish like the mist when asked to clarify.

  17. Saying the same things over and over again?

    Gee, I can’t possibly fathom what that is like.

  18. Yes – ignore the arguments and smear the person instead. Good job!

  19. These are a couple of comments that stood out just in the article you linked:

    A homeless lady babbles to you some nonsense…

    A toddler hollers and screams…

    Curious – do you not see the smear or do you think you’re justified in the comparison?

  20. Here, let me save you some time:

    “I’m not smearing atheists! I love every atheist that visits my blog. I’m simply telling you what the Bible (and God) says about unbelievers!”

    Enjoy your Tuesday off, Steve.

  21. Steve, at the risk of going off topic, I would like to ask your opinion on Sarah Palin’s recent comments calling for the assassination of wikileak’s founder, Julian Assange.

    “He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”

    Leaving aside the obvious unclassiness of a potential world leader calling for the assassination of a journalist, my question is this: Has Sarah Palin broken the commandment “Thou shalt not murder”? And if not, why not?

    • Yep. That’s off topic all right. I hadn’t heard about this but it certainly is irresponsible. I would say that it violates that command. I’m not so sure that she’s a very committed Christian just based on her life antics.

  22. Wow. We just found common ground. I admit I’m pleasantly surprised.

  23. Steve, I always look forward to Atheist Tuesday.

  24. Remember of course that Steve has never made any effort to show that anyone’s comment was from an Atheist. I’m pretty sure this has been bought every week.

    Nasty comment towards Steve’s Sect = Atheist.

    Nasty comment towards Atheists = Any but a Christian.

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